Some bad news was confirmed for Arsenal today when Mesut Ozil was confirmed as having a hamstring strain, which will keep the German international out for at least a month. How much will Arsenal miss Ozil in his absence? The playmaker will miss many crucial games in the Premier League title run-in, including Tottenham this weekend, Chelsea, Manchester City and Everton.
Ozil could also miss the FA Cup semifinal against Wigan Athletic at Wembley on April 12 as this injury news comes at the worst possible time for Arsenal. Ozil has had a roller coaster season during his first year in the Premier League after his £42 million move from Real Madrid last summer. Recently, Ozil received a lot of criticism for his perceived lackluster performances, lacking in effort defensively and lacking in quality offensively.
It looked like Ozil may have turned the corner last weekend though against Everton, scoring a goal and registering an assist. Looking like he was back to the form he was in at the beginning of the season, it seemed as though Ozil might finally be coming on strong at the right time for Arsenal.
Even in the midst of all the criticism Ozil received, you still had to remember that this was a world-class player you were talking about. No, he wasn’t delivering world-class performances at the time, but class is permanent — it always will be.
Arsenal will clearly miss Ozil in the next month or so that he will be absent. It would be naive to think otherwise. Yes, he could possibly have had a few poor games , but there will be games in the next few weeks that will require a bit of magic to make the difference — a flash of genius that few others can produce. Ozil is always capable of that.
They worked all season long to put themselves in a position where their better players can make the difference at the crucial time, where they can win them a cup or grab them that league title. Now, Arsenal will have to do it without their star man — their difference-maker. That could very well be the difference for them, and not in a good way.